In the spirit of my favourite holiday I thought it only right to share with you, what Halloween means to me, or as I call it Samhain
I first discovered Wicca when I was around Twelve years old; I wandered in to my local library and unearthed a copy of Silver Ravenwolf’s book ‘Teen Witch’ in the graphic novel section, I didn’t think much of it but at that age I liked to test myself by reading almost everything I came across that make me think it was rubbish by the cover, and I had unearthed some serious gems that way. Without reading a single page of the inside, checked it out along with a range of other graphic novels ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time’ by Mark Haddon and ‘Noughts and Crosses’ by the great Malorie Blackman. Oh an a few Goosebumps books that I hadn’t quite grown out of.
It wasn’t even the first book I tackled, I think it at least a week before I even touch it again. And when I did, I remember I felt like a need a break from the intense ‘Noughts and Crosses’ so I’d decided to spend that evening engrossed in something a bit lighter. I was more than a little annoyed when I opened it. This was not a graphic novel.
Instead this was a simple explanation of all things Wiccan, from the Wiccan Rede, which in short is ‘As long as you don’t harm anyone, you can do as you please’ to crystals and there corresponding properties.
Wiccans are what some people would refer to as Witches, some Neo-Pagans. We believe that everything in the world has energy and that if you focus, you can borrow that energy to use to cast spells. These spells can be anything from luck spells and spells for prosperity to spells for protection. Everything you do, somes back to you three-fold which means an awful lot of thought goes into each spell you cast. And instead of an opinion that there is good and evil, we believe that there is good and bad in everything and the key is to find balance. There are 8 main holidays that correspond to the equinoxes for example ‘Yule’ takes place on the 21st of December, which is the shortest day of the year and the first day of winter. Those are the only practices that are upheld by all Wiccans.
I was drawn to this religion, or what some people call a religious cult, as one thing that the previous thirteen years had taught me is that religion is a set of rigid rules and guidelines in which to live your life by, that will more often than not lead to your own unhappiness. And the amount of wars and violence that religion had invoked didn’t sit well with me. So at thirteen I had already decided that religion wasn’t for me. But then Wicca appeared.
I read through the book three times, ‘Noughts and Crosses’ lay forgotten for around two weeks. However at thirteen when me and my mother came to blows (metaphorically, not physically) about my sexuality that, along with the majority of my other belonging were forever lost and Wicca was forgotten, or so I’d thought.
In actual fact I’d been living my life in accordance to the Wiccan Rede since that day, and I’d felt my strong affinity for nature, Spirituality and the elements throughout my teens and in to my twenties. But life has a habit of separating these things so they aren’t perceived as a belief, more of a quirk.
It was two years ago on Halloween that I was reminded of Samhain or Witches New Year and put the pieces together. On that day I ordered a book that was a more detailed look into Wicca by the same author as ‘Teen Witch’ called ‘Solitary Wicca’ and read. I knew that before embarking on something like Wicca and calling myself Wiccan, I’d want to absorb all the information in depth about what I was getting myself into. And now, with Samhain 2015 quickly approaching I finally feel like I’m ready to dive into the world of witchcraft after dunking my toes in a few times.
There are those that automatically assume that Wicca is Satanism. To those people I would inform them that there is no Devil or Satan in Wicca at all. And to the people that think I’ve been brainwashed into a cult, I say this; After a ten year break, I join wicca, feeling that it is right, and I don’t think any harm can come from a religion so passive and so connected to nature.
So on Saturday The 31st of October, I will be welcoming in the new year, as a Wiccan. And I’ve never felt so accepted in my life.